After spending the last three years with Jordan Brand, Dwyane Wade is splitting ways to join up with Li-Ning.
We wrote about Dwyane Wade possibly moving to Chinese shoe brand, Li-Ning, a few weeks ago after reports surfaced in the States that the two-time NBA champion had grown discontented with Nike and Jordan Brand… and now it looks like the move is coming closer to reality.
On Thursday, SneakerWatch wrote a report saying they have “received confirmation that Dwyane Wade will no longer be repping Jordan Brand. Instead Wade has made his way to Chinese brand Li-Ning in a speculated multi-million dollar deal.” On Friday, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel followed up with a report confirming the news.
Said Wade when asked for an official comment, “We’re still negotiating, until you get to the point where you decide which way to go. There’s many shoe companies that obviously know that I’m up this summer. But I still have the respect for and the obligation and the willingness to sit down and to the company I’m with.”
No official word can be given out by both player and company, but it certainly appears that this deal is done. But is this deal good?
The answer will depend on how you feel about Wade and his current pecking order in the list of NBA superstars. While he’s now been displaced as The Man in Miami by LeBron James, Wade is still one of the most recognizable players in the league and is far and away the biggest name Li-Ning — or any other Chinese shoe company for that matter — has gotten to wear their shoes.
Yet Wade has never been an elite shoe seller, and now on the wrong side of 30 with a playing style that likely won’t age as gracefully, Li-Ning’s investment could also be seen as a risky one, especially considering since they’ve seen sharp declines over the last two years.
Lance Madden over at Forbes.com has a nice piece weighing the pros and cons of Wade’s decision and is definitely worth the read.